Green Councillor Cleo Lake is calling for Bristol to launch a drug consumption room to give drug users a safer space with access to needles and specialist support.
In a motion to Bristol’s Full Council meeting next week, Councillor Lake will ask the Mayor to commit to delivering the recommendations of a study currently being undertaken by the Council’s substance misuse team. The Motion also calls for the Mayor to consider prescribing small regulated doses of heroin for those who have failed other treatments, as recommended by Public Health England.
Commenting Councillor Lake said:
“With drug related deaths on the increase in Bristol there is no time to waste. Encouraging heroin users off the streets will not only help to save lives, but also improve our communities and save us money. The evidence shows that these measures reduce deaths, blood borne diseases and hospital stays as well as reducing drug litter and community tension. They also make it more likely that people with drug problems will engage and stay engaged in treatment.”
Bristol resident Cara Lavan – partner of Jake Coe, who died of an accidental overdose – and campaigner for ‘Anyone’s Child’, an international network of families whose lives have been wrecked by current drug laws said:
“I warmly welcome this important motion, and urge the Mayor and all political parties to back it, as a first step towards a better drug policy for everyone in Bristol. Far too many people are needlessly dying from our failed drug laws. I believe that if Jake’s drug use could’ve been treated as the medical issue that it was, rather than the criminal issue that it wasn’t, he would still be alive today.”
Bristol West MP Thangam Debbonaire has also supported calls for drugs consumption rooms in Bristol. In a speech in Parliament calling for them to be looked into she said:
“We already have a drug consumption room in Bristol: it is called Bristol. It is called the square outside my office, the doorstep into my office and the blocks of council flats at the side of my office. It is called virtually every part of the city centre. If we want to give our health service more money, if we want to make our streets safer, and if we want to save the lives of people who have drug addictions, as I do, we need to invest in drug consumption rooms.”
Green Motion to Full Council
Bristol Safer Drug Consumption Room and Heroin Assisted Treatment
Full Council notes that:
Full Council believes that:
Full Council resolves to ask the Mayor:
Motion to be moved by: Cllr Cleo Lake